If you live in an older house in the Northeast, some of the money in your winter heating bills escapes and causes invisible damage inside and outside the eaves.
Data source: greenbuildingadvisor.com
Melted snow drips down into beautiful icicles to distract us, then expands back up underneath the snow blanket and forms a hidden ice dam. Above it, trapped water sneaks into the house, where it rots wood, grows mold and eventually leaks through.
Ice dams are caused by:
heat loss through air leaks in ceilings + walls
attics with inadequate insulation (or none!)
solar heat warming dark-colored siding + roofing
waste heat from ventilation and exhaust pipes
forced-air ductwork in an unconditioned attic
Treatments for the symptoms include:
install electric heat cables to melt the snow before it forms an ice dam (don’t wait for the icicles!)
install snow cleats or guards - these help protect you from falling ice
The cures for ice dams are:
seal air leaks at fixtures, ductwork + attic hatch
increase attic ceiling insulation to keep heat out
ventilate the attic at the lowest + highest point, or horizontally across (not both)
install a ventilated “alpine roof” by adding an air gap between the sheathing and roofing
Want to find out if your home can be protected from the hidden damage of icicles?
Book a free Q+A call to find out: